VA Loans: Everything Veterans and Active Military Members Need to Know (2019 Guide)
As an accredited member of the Veterans Advocacy and Benefits Association, Secure Choice Lending is eternally grateful for the sacrifices our veterans and active military personnel have made to protect our freedom.
You are our heroes and it is our pleasure to assist you in buying your home with a VA home loan.
VA Loans are available to veterans and active military members. It is a great option if you don’t have any funds for a down payment.
Like FHA Loans, VA Loans are easier to qualify for than conventional loans. Additionally, they include myriad benefits, such as 100% financing.
If you are a veteran or an active member of the military, and are looking to purchase a home, you will find everything you need to know about VA Loans below.
What is a VA Loan and how does it work?
VA home loans are provided by private lenders, such as Secure Choice Lending. A portion of the loan is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This enables the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.
VA Loans are easier to qualify for than conventional loans.
While these loans do not require mortgage insurance, there usually is an upfront VA funding fee, which can be rolled into the loan or paid by the seller.
VA Loans allow borrowers to qualify for 100% financing and many other benefits.
What are the benefits of VA home loans?
Take a look at some of the benefits of VA Loans:
- Not a first-time homebuyer? No problem.
- No down payment? No problem.
- Doesn’t require mortgage insurance premiums.
- The VA limits the amount you can be charged for closing costs.
- The seller may pay the closing costs.
- If you pay off the loan early, the lender can’t charge you a penalty fee.
- If you run into a problem making payments, the VA may provide some assistance.
- VA Loans are assumable as long as the person assuming the loan qualifies.
Who qualifies for a VA Loan?
VA home loans are available to veterans, active service members and, in some cases, surviving family members.
Your eligibility for a VA home loan is determined by your length of service or service commitment, duty status and character of service.
You’re likely eligible for a VA home loan if one of the following statements is true:
- You served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime.
- You served at least 181 days of active duty during peacetime.
- You served six years in the Reserves or National Guard.
- Your spouse was killed in the line of duty and you haven’t remarried.
Call Secure Choice Lending at (951) 707-9364 to find out if you qualify for a VA Loan.
Types of Loans and Eligibility Requirements
- Purchase Loans and Cash-Out Refinance: These loans are available to active duty service members looking for homes for yours, your spouse’s and/or your dependents’ occupancy. You must have satisfactory credit and sufficient income to meet the expected monthly payments. A valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is also required.
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): If you have an existing VA-guaranteed loan on your property, you are eligible for an IRRRL. It generally helps lower the interest rate and reduce the monthly payment on your existing VA loan.
- Native American Direct Loan (NADL): If you are a Native American Veteran, an NADL helps you buy a home on Native American trust lands. It also helps in construction, improvements or refinancing. Your tribal organization must be participating in the VA direct loan program. This also requires a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
- Adapted Housing Grants: If you have total and permanent disabilities that is related to your military service, the VA will help you obtain housing with this grant.
Call Secure Choice Lending at (951) 707-9364 today to go over the eligibility requirements.
How to get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Once eligible for a VA home loan, you need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
To apply for your COE, you have to submit specific documents depending on the nature of your eligibility.
If you are a veteran or a current/former National Guard or Reserves member who has been activated Federal active service, you must submit a DD Form 214. It is required to have a copy showing the character of service (Item 24) and the narrative reason for separation (Item 28).
For Active Duty Service members, you will need to submit a current statement of service signed by the adjutant, personnel office or commander of the unit or higher headquarters. It must show your full name, Social Security Number, date of birth, entry date on active duty, the duration of any lost time and the name of the command providing the information.
For current National Guard or Reserves members who have never been Federal active service, you need to submit a statement of service signed by the adjutant, personnel officer or commander of your unit or higher headquarters. It must show your full name, Social Security Number, date of birth, entry date on duty, the total number of creditable years of service, the duration of any lost time and the name of the command providing the information.
For discharged members of the National Guard who have never been activated for Federal active service, you need the NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, for each period of National Guard service, and NGB Form 23, Retirement Points Accounting, and proof of the character of service.
For discharged members of the Selected Reserves who have never been activated for Federal active service, you need a copy of your latest annual retirement points statement and evidence of honorable service.
If you are a Surviving Spouse in Receipt of DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) benefits, you need to submit VA form 26-1817 and veteran’s DD214 (if available). Include veteran’s and surviving spouse’s Social Security Numbers on the 26-1817 form.
If you are a Surviving Spouse and are not receiving DIC (Dependency & Indemnity Compensation) benefits, you will need to submit the following to the appropriate Compensation and Pension office:
– VA form 21P-534-ARE
– DD214 (if available)
– Marriage License
– Death Certificate or DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty)
After gathering the appropriate documents, you can apply for your Certificate of Eligibility. To avoid confusion and mistakes, you can apply through Secure Choice Lending.
Secure Choice Lending can help you get your COE through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Web LGY or Automated Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) system.
Call us at (951) 707-9364 and we will help you apply.
Secure Choice Lending can assist you with a VA home loan
The VA home loan process can be confusing. We are happy to help you navigate the process while explaining every step clearly.
If you are unsure of your eligibility for a VA Loan, call us and we can help.
If you are unsure what documents you need to submit, call us and we will get your ducks in a row.
We will bend over backwards so you never have to feel overwhelmed by the process.
Secure Choice Lending is a full-service mortgage broker that will secure you a mortgage that doesn’t break the bank.
To streamline the lending experience, our team of financial experts matches consumer needs with the appropriate loan programs and level of risk. With loan officers versed in all mortgage types, solutions to your home-buying questions are a phone call away.